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Popular Articles

Ultrasonic Phased Array Tools for  High-Resolution Corrosion Inspection
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By André Lamarre at Olympus Scientific Solutions Americas

This article highlights the evolution of corrosion monitoring from conventional ultrasonic to ultrasonic phased array manual and automated solutions and their use for both general purposes and complex applications.

My Inspection App Can Do What?
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Barbara Lasseigne at Envoc

You probably already know that inspection apps for tablets and smart phones exist, and have notions of how these technologies can improve efficiencies in the field and beyond.

Advanced NDT for Plant Life Assessment
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Brown at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

While there are many types of advanced NDT, this article will focus on the use of acoustics and electromagnetism as the bases for conducting examinations.

Inspect Yourself into Outstanding Performance
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Grady Hatton at VERSA Integrity Group, Donald Brou at Capitol Ultrasonics, and Joe Nichols at Valero Energy

When heading down the path of becoming an inspection professional, it’s helpful to understand the characteristics that truly make someone an outstanding inspector.

What Does Reliability Mean in 2016?
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Inspectioneering recently had an opportunity to sit down with Walt Sanford, President and COO of Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies, and discuss what Reliability means to his clients and others in our industry. We hope you find the exchange interesting and informative.

On-Stream Thickness Monitoring Versus Conventional Inspection in Refineries
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Jake Davies at Permasense Ltd.

Fixed equipment in a refinery can be susceptible to corrosion from the process side, necessitating an inspection strategy to understand the condition of that equipment. Online measurement of pipe and pressure vessel wall thickness is made possible by installing wireless, semi-permanent thickness monitoring sensors.

Effectively and Efficiently Cleaning Heat Exchangers, Part III
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Harold Marburger at Dunn Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers operating in refineries or petrochemical plants must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected throughout their operational lifetime to ensure safe and efficient operations.

Creating an Effective Inspection  Recommendation Management System
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions, and John Reynolds at Intertek

We have seen many different inspection recommendation management systems. Most of them struggle to effectively manage all inspection recommendations. However, a few of them are excellent. What makes an effective system?

Maintenance Strategies for Aboveground Storage Tanks in Crude Oil Service - Part II
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, published in the July/August 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I discussed corrosion control methods and some effective techniques for inspecting ASTs, and also identified several root causes of AST failures in crude oil service. In this second installment, I will briefly review the costs associated with AST failures and discuss maintenance strategies to help prevent and/or mitigate predictable and unforeseen incidents.

Insights Into Fixed Equipment Vibration – How a Piping System Was Affected by Flow-Induced Vibration
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Reza Azizian at Engineering & Inspection Services, LLC, and Paolo Torrado at Engineering and Inspection Services, LLC.

Excessive vibration is a problem frequently encountered in industrial plants and their peripheral equipment, including piping systems, pressure vessels, and steel structures. Long term excessive vibration can lead to fatigue crack propagation and consequently, may cause system failure.

Partner Content

Converting from one Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) or Inspection Data Management System (IDMS) software platform to another can prove to be a daunting task. PinnacleART’s experts specialize in assessing, selecting and implementing RBI and IDMS software platforms from a variety of vendors in the industry. Let us successfully guide you through your next software implementation.

Reliability and Integrity – Keys to Survival
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Khulani Ndimande at ABB Consulting, and Fernando Vicente at ABB Consulting

This article highlights several benefits of sound reliability and mechanical integrity practices and how they serve as the cornerstone of effective asset management. Moreover, we believe effective asset integrity management is not only important, but essential, to overcoming the challenges presented by operating in the current oil and gas market.

Recording Thickness Data During Thickness Monitoring Inspections
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

This article addresses a debate mechanical integrity professionals in the O&G and Chemical Processing industries periodically have about how thickness data gathered during a thickness monitoring inspection (TMI) should be recorded.

Advanced Pipeline Management Software Can Reduce Risks and Improve your Bottom Line
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Vipin Nair at Meridium

Pipeline management remains fraught with safety risks for operators and the environment. Last year, the Ontario Energy Board determined that a $12 billion oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. would pose more risks than rewards for the province.

The Importance of Selecting the Appropriate Inspection Method
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Brown at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

It is often best to rely on properly trained and experienced inspection service providers to determine the proper method for any inspection project. Thus, inspection companies can suggest utilizing the most effective and efficient inspection techniques that will result in the highest probability of detection (POD), while potentially saving the facility operators’ time, effort, and capital.

A Guide to Storage Tank Inspection
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Robert Frater at Engineering & Inspection Services, LLC

Refinery, petrochemical, and storage tank operators are responsible for properly cleaning facility tanks on a periodic maintenance basis, typically in 20 to 30 year increments. This article provides a suggested “checklist” of inspection activities to ensure safe and reliable operations after cleaning.

There’s an Inspection App for That
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Barbara Lasseigne at Envoc

While performing visual inspections with a pen and notepad is the traditional way to record data, there are now more efficient ways to complete inspections out in the field. Investing in a mobile inspection application can be a great way to save time, reduce cost, and improve safety over traditional methods.

Laying Off “Safety”: Managing Knowledge Transfer Through the Downturn to Maintain Industry Best Practices
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Fletcher at North Highland Worldwide Consulting, and Josh Arceneaux at North Highland Worldwide Consulting

It is estimated that there have been more than 250,000 layoffs in the oil and gas industry since the price of oil began to drop precipitously in late 2014. With oil not expected to rebound significantly for at least the next year or so, we should be ready for even more workforce reductions. In addition, there is the ongoing reality of baby boomers retiring from the workplace – also known as the impending shift or crew change.

Advancements in Positive Material Identification Tools Bring Accuracy and Convenience to the Work Site
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mark Lessard at Thermo Fisher Scientific

In numerous industries that require elemental and material testing, including the oil and gas, power generation, and petrochemical industries, positive material identification (PMI) is at the forefront of any operation. In fact, an increasing number of facilities are adopting a 100% PMI program to ensure that every metal component is made up of exactly the desired chemical composition.

5 Major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity Failures –  What Happened and Why?
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Rarely is there a new and unknown cause of a major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) failure in the petrochemical and refining industry. This article briefly summarizes five major fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures from the petrochemical and refining industry.

API 1169 Pipeline Inspector Certification Program –  A Case for Why it Should be the Industry Standard
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rikki Smith at Oilfield Jobs

Some hiring practices for new employees have been too lax for too long in the pipeline industry. Pipeline inspectors who have ever worked beside someone who was hired via the familiar “friends and family program,” recognize the need for more stringent hiring requirements than just knowing the right person.

Embedded software solutions: the next step in offshore oil & gas asset management cost reduction
Partner Content

The upstream oil and gas industry is cyclically faced with low oil prices and high operating costs, with the growing challenge of aging assets and increasingly complex infrastructure. Whilst safety remains paramount, improving asset reliability is just a crucial to stay competitive and to realize cost efficiencies.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Virginia Edley at Trinity Bridge, LLC.

If everyone in an industrial setting actively looked for things that were not right or seemed different, or looked at small mistakes as opportunities to prevent larger ones, what would the future look like?

Composite Repairs for Offshore Pipelines
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

This study provides valuable information for offshore pipeline operators curious about how composite repair systems could be utilized with their assets.

High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA): Life Assessment Methods for Carbon Steel and Carbon 0.50% Mo Materials
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ralph E. King P.E. at Stress Engineering Services, and Brian Olson at Stress Engineering Services Inc.

To ensure the mechanical integrity and fitness-for-service (FFS) of equipment, facility managers, reliability engineers, and inspection technicians must understand the HTHA damage mechanism.

A Tale of Two Operating Sites – The Difference in Quality of Two FEMI Programs
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Once upon a time in the land of Ooze, there were two processing plants that boiled oil to make fuels and various other valuable petrochemical products. On one side of the river, rests a site called Perfecto Process Plant, while just across the river lies another plant called InZayna Zylum.

Keys to Success: How to Design and Use Effective Reliability and Integrity Program Assessments to Drive Sustainable Improvements
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART, and Mauricio Olivares at Pinnacle ART

Equipment integrity and reliability programs are essential for refinery and chemical facility operators. The processes of the programs are developed to ensure safety, optimize component life cycles, and promote smooth and economical operations.

Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing: An Effective, Yet Underutilized NDE Method
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

While they is very efficient and popular, liquid couplants used for ultrasonic inspection have some inherent limitations and disadvantages. An alternative method to using liquid couplant is Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing (DCUT).

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Harold Marburger at Dunn Heat Exchangers

This article is Part II of a three-part series that explores the various methods, benefits, challenges and solutions to efficiently and effectively clean heat exchangers, both onsite and offsite.

In-Service Inspections Using EMAT and MRUT
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

Readers were previously introduced to some of the practical advantages of EMAT Ultrasonic Testing (UT) in the March/April 2013 and July/August 2013 issues of Inspectioneering Journal. In this article, I will cover the practical advantages of EMAT for in-service applications using Medium Range Ultrasonic Testing (MRUT).

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Nick Harwood at Aetos Group, and Aaron Cook at Aetos Group

This article is intended to provide some helpful insights when it comes to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), and to hopefully put you on the path to safer and more cost-effective inspections utilizing UAS technologies.

A New Trend for Pipeline Integrity Management: How GIS and Risk-Based   Asset Management (RBA) Integration Can Improve Pipeline Management
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dylan Schrader at PinnacleART, Tom Pickthall at EnhanceCo Inc., and Carlos A. Palacios at CiMA-TQ

Pipeline integrity is critical to ensure maintenance and operational efficiency; however it is becoming an increasingly challenging task for the energy industry. Maintenance managers and inspectors must make sure their pipeline(s) and its associated equipment meet strict integrity requirements and comply with regulations in order to avoid unnecessary downtime and mitigate safety and environmental risks.

Storage Tank Inspections: Include air support to get the job done on time and under budget.
Partner Content

Using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, the exterior shell and roof of large aboveground storage tanks can be examined quickly and easily without the risks associated with putting personnel at elevated heights. Advanced corrosion, blistered coatings, torn tank linings, etc. can now be identified quickly and safely…

Ultrasonic Sensor System for Wall-Thickness Monitoring
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. James N. Barshinger at Sensor Networks, Inc., Bruce A. Pellegrino at Sensor Networks, Inc., and Michael Nugent at Equity Engineering Group

While there are many methods for measuring equipment wall thickness, a predominant method used in the O&G and power generation industries is portable ultrasonic equipment. Ultrasonic testing is non-intrusive because it is applied to the outside of a pipe or vessel. It is an accurate and relatively low cost non-destructive examination (NDE) method to deploy in most situations.

An Overview of ISO 55000 - Standardizing Asset Management
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Maximizing return on investment of physical assets, while at the same time operating safely and in an environmentally responsible manner is now more critical than ever for organizations within the heavy process industries.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rick Eckert at DNV GL - North America Oil & Gas

Understanding the common factors that promote corrosion threats in the oil and gas value chain helps operators create effective inspection strategies.

Maintenance Strategies for Aboveground Storage Tanks in Crude Oil Service - Part 1
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) are essential to any successful oil and gas operation and must be properly managed to ensure operations function in a safe and reliable manner. In this 2-part series, I will identify some common failures related to ASTs in crude oil service and recommend strategies to prevent and/or mitigate such failures.

Standardized Pipeline Risk Comparison and Prediction
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Craig Alan Swift, P.E. at Bureau Veritas

The objective of this article is to demonstrate the inherent value of an interactive and detailed GIS landscape, emphasize the importance of industry standardization, and encourage regulatory agencies and operators to systematize and incorporate these technologies to produce a standardized basis of observation for these independently operated systems.

A Roadmap to Spare Parts Optimization
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Brad Moore at PinnacleART

Operators in all industries are trying to increase equipment availability, yet oftentimes critical process equipment is not available due to planned or unplanned maintenance. To increase equipment availability, steps must be taken to reduce downtime. One way to achieve this is to ensure that spare parts are organized and available in the event repairs are needed.

Fired Heater Health Monitoring and  Reliability Management in Challenging Times
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Tim Hill at Quest Integrity Group

Achieving fired heater reliability in conjunction with meeting performance standards can be a challenging feat. Performance is a measure of the degree to which the fired heater is in an operable condition at any given time.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

This article provides a summary of the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) discussions that occurred at the Fall 2015 API Refining Standards Meeting, including the Inspection Summit Planning Committee and the API ICP Task Group.

Advances in Inspectability & Validation of Non-Metallic Composite Repair Systems
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

In recent years, the growing use of composite repair systems for the rehabilitation of piping systems in the refining and chemical industries has increased the need for associated technologies for their manufacturing, installation, and inspection. One critical aspect of these repair systems is how to inspect and validate them for fitness for service. This article covers the testing completed for fiberglass and carbon fiber composite repair systems with specialty epoxy for full inspection capabilities.

Effective End of Useful Life Strategies for Pressure Equipment
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Asset managers need to know when repairs and replacement are required for many reasons, including safe operation, accurate budgeting, replacement planning, and on-going reliability. When predicting design life based on a simple, linear corrosion rate versus remaining thickness, metallurgical degradation, or crack propagation rates are often not accurate or realistic. Even if the models are good, things change.

Does your AIM system optimize the consistency, accuracy and manageability of your facility’s Mechanical Integrity program?
Partner Content

AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

2015 is behind us – Let’s Look Ahead
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely, responsibly, and reliably.

3rd Party Joint Integrity Inspections: Compliance and Leak Free Facilities
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

With the increasing demand for oil, gas, and petrochemical products in a highly competitive market, products and services irrespective of their origin must satisfy customer quality requirements. Additionally, the needs to ensure quality control and regulatory compliance are now more scrutinized and critical than ever.

Repair Strategies for Civil Structures Utilizing New Risk Based Inspection Methodology
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Amanda Nurse at BP, and Josh Havekost at BP

Assessing risk is an integral part of working at a refinery. Infrastructure supporting the miles of piping, process vessels, and the platforms and ladders used in daily unit operations are often taken for granted. The Civil Structures Management Program (CSMP) at the BP Whiting Refinery was developed in 2004. Since the program’s inception, millions of dollars have been spent in the yearly execution of refinery structural repairs.

OSHA Communication Rules Can Help Control Corrosion
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Nolan L. Miller at SASOL North American Operations, and Marc McConnell, P.E. at Versa Integrity Group

If we could measure, understand, mitigate, and most importantly, control corrosion, we can do a better job of keeping the product in the pipes. To accomplish this task, we needed to know what is causing the corrosion and how to control it.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Shana Telesz at GE Measurement & Control

While computed tomography (CT) scans are common and well-known as a critical evaluation tool in the medical field, they are becoming increasingly important in industrial settings. Recent automation, speed, and accuracy developments are driving the migration of CT technology onto the production floor.

In-Place Pipe Support Load Testing & Hanger Surveys – Part of a Best in Class Fitness-for-Service Program
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Lange Kimball at Stress Engineering Services, Joe Frey, PE at Stress Engineering, Inc., and Britt Bettell at Stress Engineering Services

This article introduces portions of a “Best-In-Class” Fitness-for-Service (FFS) program that includes the performance of regular visual inspections of pipe supports and hangers, coupled with in-situ load testing of suspect supports. This program can give the plant engineer the knowledge he needs to make sound operational and maintenance decisions.

The Industrial Internet’s Role in the Pipeline Industry
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mauricio Palomino at GE Oil & Gas, Measurement & Control Business

Machine-to-Machine connectivity combined with advanced computing capabilities and industry-focused software enable a wide range of new capabilities. From smart homes controlled over the internet, to smart electric grids with smart meters, sensors and controls that continually monitor the performance of electric distribution and can self-adjust to demand and outage conditions to optimize uptime across the whole network or a combination of networks, the Industrial Internet has opened the door to a new era of efficiency, productivity, and safety for the industrial world.

SAFER Inspectioneering
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Paul J. Ramirez at NASA - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Quality Assurance Engineer (QAE) provides a safety net for mission-critical hardware. The variety and complexity of hardware, and the many dimensions of the QA inspection process, combine in such a manner that even the most experienced QAE may miss problems.

Powering Impressed Current Cathodic Protection – Part 1
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gary Mulcahy at Astrodyne TDI

This is the first article of a two-part series to be published in Inspectioneering Journal and will provide a basis for understanding the differences between traditional tapped-transformer, fixed voltage type rectifiers, and High Frequency Switched Mode (HFSM) units.

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Vibha Zaman, P.E. at Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas, and Peter Dsouza at Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas

Direct assessment is often seen as the best option to verify pipeline integrity. But, it's particularly challenging due to the difficulty of pipeline access, as well as the limitations in available technology to perform subsea wall thickness inspections. Addressing these challenges requires action rather than reaction.

Partner Content

It is difficult to cover all inspection applications with basic inspection procedures like radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle testing, and dye penetrant inspection. Owner-operators are finding that advanced NDE services such as guided-wave ultrasonics, AUT corrosion mapping, and eddy current testing are essential tools to keep their facilities operating safely and efficiently.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mike Johnston at T. A. Cook Consultants, Inc.

It is a generally accepted fact that most Front Line Supervisors (FLS) come up “from the ranks” of the hourly staff. However, most companies provide neither training nor any type of preparation or guidance for the person they have now placed in a supervisory role.

Gains with Advanced Data Assessment in ILI: Leveraging pipeline data to eliminate risk, prioritize and schedule necessary repairs
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ian D. Smith, P.Eng. at Quest Integrity Group, and Michael McGee at Quest Integrity Group

For traditional in-line inspection (ILI) vendors, considering 21.4 miles of a piggable 4” diesel pipeline is typically not a big deal. However, significant threats like 3rd party damage and external corrosion seem to come with the territory in nearly any pipeline territory.

Combining High Resolution In-Line Geometry Tools and Finite Element Analysis to Improve Dent Assessments
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rhett Dotson, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services

Historically, regulations regarding dent severity have been governed by one of two metrics: dent depth or strain. In the case of the former, plain dents with a depth up to 6% of the nominal diameter are permitted in both gas and liquid pipelines. However, many operators typically set stricter limits on dent depth targeting those above a depth of 2% for evaluation.

The Evolution of Reliability:  A Q&A with  Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down with Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and discuss the evolution of reliability in the oil and gas industry.

Partner Content

LOTIS utilizes laser profilometry to conduct internal steam reformer tube inspections. The data captured by LOTIS is exceptionally powerful when combined with our LifeQuest™ remaining life assessment capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the process and syngas industries.